European Space Agency

Frequency Hopped Spread Spectrum waveform implementation.



The objective of the programme is:
- to develop a commercially-available secure, anti-jam waveform that provides a satellite communications capability which is resilient to accidental and deliberate interference.
- to develop a waveform whose signalling and control is encrypted and
so immune to exploitation.
- to be flexible and efficient.
The waveform type will be a Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) and it will be implemented upon the Airbus Defence and Space, Software Defined Modem platform.


The key challenges of the programme are:
- Providing great waveform flexibility;
- Developing an easy to use product;
- Implementing a very wideband Frequency Hopping capability;
- Implementation of highly secure control and signalling;
- Support for high-speed comms-on-the-move capabilities.


The product provides the benefits of military secure, anti-jam waveform to Government and Commercial users. Because of this it is fundamentally different to existing commercial satellite modem waveforms such as DVB-S2x and DVB-RCS2. As a result, the product that is complimentary to and not competitive with these existing products.
The key benefits are comparatively low cost, easy to use, easy to manage, easy to integrate with current communications system, flexibility and resilience.


Communications Resilience via use of FHSS with hopping over up to
1.2 GHz;
Communications Privacy using AES encryption of all modem
Data Rates up to 10.7 Mbps.
Comparatively low cost;
Support for DAMA;
Standard traffic interfaces;
Standard Management and Configuration interfaces;
Support for QoS and CoS;
An ability to operate autonomously from GPS or GNSS;
An ability to operate efficiently;
An ability to operate while on the move;

System Architecture

The system will be a hub-spoke, star network. All Management Functions (DAMA, ACM functions) will be managed at the Hub. The Modem Hardware will be the off-the-shelf Airbus DS Proteus Software Define Radios. The network can consist of up 127 Modems.


T0+6 Months – Demonstrate Waveform Acquisition and Tracking
T0+12 moths – Demonstrate overall capability of Waveform
T0+17 Months – Test Readiness Review of Waveform
T0+21 Months – Final acceptance of all deliverables

Current status

All design reviews complete and implementation underway. ESA given full visibility of progress attained so far.


ESA Contacts

Status date

Monday, August 8, 2016 - 10:30